An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta

Department of Education and Science

 

Whole School Evaluation

REPORT

 

Monagea National School

Newcastlewest

County Limerick

Uimhir rolla:09401Q

 

Date of inspection:  15 October 2008

 

 


 

Whole-school evaluation

Introduction – school context and background

Quality of school management

Quality of school planning

Quality of learning and teaching

Quality of support for pupils

Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

School response to the report

 

 

 

 

Whole-school evaluation

 

This report has been written following a whole school evaluation of Monagea N.S. It presents the findings of an evaluation of the work of the school as a whole and makes recommendations for the further development of the work of the school. During the evaluation, the inspector held pre-evaluation meetings with the principal, the teachers, the school’s board of management, and representatives of the parents’ association. The evaluation was conducted over a number of days during which the inspector visited classrooms and observed teaching and learning. She interacted with pupils and teachers, examined pupils’ work, and interacted with the class teachers. She reviewed school planning documentation and teachers’ written preparation, and met with various staff teams, where appropriate. Following the evaluation visit, the inspector provided oral feedback on the outcomes of the evaluation to the staff and to the board of management. The board of management was given an opportunity to comment in writing on the findings and recommendations of the report, and the response of the board will be found in the appendix of this report.

 

 

1.     Introduction – school context and background

Monagea N.S. is a Catholic mainstream co-educational school situated in the parish of Monagea, 4km for the town of Newcastlewest. The patron of the school is the Bishop of Limerick. The school has a staffing of 5 mainstream teachers and a learning support teacher. There were 114 pupils enrolled in the school on the 30th of September 2008. Average school attendance figures indicate that pupil attendance is very good. The school’s mission statement seeks to promote the holistic development of the individual child in co-operation with parents. Five school aims support this statement.

 

2.     Quality of school management

 

2.1 Board of management

The board of management provides good leadership to the school. It is properly constituted and meets at least once a term. The board fulfils its statutory obligations and it ensures compliance with Department of Education regulations. The board of management uses available finances in an effective manner in order to meet the needs of the school and the pupils. Financial records are audited annually, minutes of meetings are maintained, training opportunities have been availed of and roles and responsibilities have been assigned to individual board members. The board effectively ensures that school accommodation is well maintained and developed and has recently overseen the erection of a prefabricated classroom to accommodate the fifth mainstream class. The board engages in the regular review and ratification of whole-school organisational policies. This good practice might now be extended to whole-school curriculum plans thereby enabling the board to engage with the teaching staff in a process of school self-evaluation leading to continuous improvement in learning and teaching and in the achievements of all pupils.

 

2.2 In-school management

The in-school management team comprises the principal, deputy principal and a special duties teacher. Members of the team meet frequently and work collaboratively in the best interest of the school and its pupils. The principal is highly effective in leading and managing the school. She has established exemplary working relations with staff, the board and the parents. She articulates a clear vision for the school which focuses on the continuous improvement in standards of learning and teaching and on the provision of high quality educational experiences for all pupils in the school. A range of administrative, pastoral and curriculum duties has been assigned to the deputy principal and special duties post holder. These duties are discharged in a highly professional manner in a spirit of collective responsibility and mutual support. It is now recommended that the in-school management team place additional emphasis on the evaluation of the implementation of curriculum plans on pupil learning and on the setting of targets for whole-school improvement.

 

2.3 Management of resources

The board deploys staff very effectively. Teachers are facilitated to experience a variety of classes and teaching contexts and the pupils are distributed evenly over the various classes. External tutors, who support the teaching of hurling, football and dancing, are reported to be working under the guidance of the class teachers and to contribute to the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum to the pupils. The school secretary provides valuable administrative support to the principal and staff. The board of management supports the professional development of the teaching staff.  Teachers attend courses that are relevant to their professional roles.

 

The school’s building and grounds are clean and maintained to a high standard. The board has provided the school with a wide range of resources. These are well-organised, accessible and used very effectively to support teaching and learning. The recent purchase of inter-active white boards in three of the classrooms is commended. This resource assists in supporting the teaching and learning process and in ensuring the development of a variety of learning activities.

 

2.4 Management of relationships and communication with the school community

An active parents’ association meets once a term and is supportive of the work of the school.  Through its fundraising activities the association has purchased resources for the school and has assisted in the development of the school’s play areas. Members of the association report high satisfaction with the quality of the education provided to the pupils. The association is not currently affiliated to the National Parents Association (Primary) and has not availed of training opportunities. The benefits to be derived from affiliation were discussed.

 

The school is commended for the production of a high-quality newsletter which the pupils, with the assistance of the teachers, produce on a termly basis. This newsletter, coupled with regular home-school communication by means of letters and home-work diary entries, ensures that parents and the wider school community are well informed of school events and achievements. Annual parent-teacher meetings are held and are very well attended. End of year school reports are issued. Results of standardised tests are reported to the parents of pupils in first and fourth classes. This good practice might now be extended to the parents of all pupils as outlined in circular 138/2008. Parents report that they feel welcome at all times to approach the class teachers with concerns relating to their children’s education.

 

2.5 Management of pupils

Pupils in Monagea N.S. are valued members of the school community and are treated with equality, fairness and respect. They are eager and motivated in their learning and they co-operate fully with the school’s rules, code of behaviour and initiatives to prevent bullying. They demonstrate high levels of confidence and self-esteem. They are awarded ample opportunities to partake in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities which include school concerts, sporting events, an annual sports day, exhibitions of work completed in Visual Arts, quizzes, Green Flag committees and excursions. The school is highly commended for arranging that the majority of these events are organised outside of the school day to facilitate parental involvement.

 

 

3.     Quality of school planning

 

3.1 School planning process and implementation

It is evident that whole-school planning is viewed in this school as a continuous process which leads to school improvement. A good development plan has been drafted in which key areas to be addressed during the current school year are outlined. The teaching staff has drafted a comprehensive range of organisational policies in collaboration with the board of management and the majority of these have been signed and ratified. The policies are of a very high standard and have clearly been devised mindful of the needs and the context of the school. Good whole-school curriculum plans have been ratified in all eleven curriculum subjects. These plans reflect the principles of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) and they ensure progression and continuity, breadth and balance in the programmes provided to the pupils. Future reviews of the curriculum plans might now focus on the development of systems to assist the school to effectively monitor the implementation of the plans and to evaluate their impact on the quality of learning and teaching.   Parents are reported to have been involved in the drafting of the school’s Relationship and Sexuality Policy (RSE). It is recommended that the board now consider means through which the participation of parents in the planning process might be extended. It is further recommended that a means of communicating the whole-school plan to the wider parent body be devised.

 

Confirmation was provided that, in compliance with Department of Education and Science Primary Circular 0061/2006, the board of management has formally adopted the Child Protection Guidelines for Primary Schools (Department of Education and Science, September 2001). Confirmation was also provided that these child protection procedures have been brought to the attention of management, school staff and parents; that a copy of the procedures has been provided to all staff (including all new staff); and that management has ensured that all staff are familiar with the procedures to be followed. A designated liaison person (DLP) and a deputy DLP have been appointed in line with the requirements of the guidelines.

 

3.2 Classroom planning

All teachers prepare good long and short term planning. This planning effectively outlines the content to be addressed at each class level, the most suitable teaching methodologies to be utilised and a range of learning activities to assist in the progression and consolidation of pupil learning. The good practice of planning for the provision of an integrated curriculum which supports pupil learning and achievement is highly praised. Future reviews of individual classroom planning might focus on how the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of pupils with additional learning needs, specifically in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Monthly progress reports are completed by all teachers but these records are not currently utilised as a means of monitoring curriculum implementation in the school. It is therefore recommended that these progress reports be utilised as a means of monitoring and self-evaluating the extent to which planning and teaching has achieved the learning outcomes envisaged in the curriculum.

 

 

4.     Quality of learning and teaching

 

4.1 Overview of learning and teaching

There are significant strengths in relation to the quality of teaching in the school. Lessons are well structured, paced and delivered. Teachers have established very good working relationships with the pupils. A clear focus is placed on the consolidation and reinforcement of the content and concepts addressed in lessons. Resources are well utilised to support the teaching process. In the majority of classrooms samples of pupils’ work in a variety of curriculum areas is attractively displayed and print rich environments have been created. Pupils’ written work is neatly presented and regularly monitored and evaluated. While all teachers were observed to successfully employ a range of teaching approaches there exists a need to extend these to include a greater range of methodologies which would develop the pupils’ ability to work independently. It is therefore recommended that increased opportunities for pupil participation in purposeful, collaborative and co-operative learning activities be developed.

 

In general, the quality of pupils’ learning across the curriculum areas is of a very good standard. The teachers set realistically high expectations of the pupils. Pupils have a positive attitude to learning and they are encouraged to ask questions, to express views and to share ideas and knowledge. Pupils’ written work indicates that significant progress is made by pupils at each class level. Assessment data indicates that learning outcomes are continuously improving as pupils’ progress through the school.

 

4.2 Language

 

Gaeilge

Tá tionchar dearfach ag an bplean scoile ar an bpleanáil aonair sa scoil seo agus i gcoitinne sroicheann na ndaltaí ard-chaighdeán sa Ghaeilge. Leagtar amach spriocanna cinnte foghlama sa phleanáil ghearrthéarmach chun gnóthachtáil na ndaltaí a chinntiú thar raon leathan scileanna. Dírítear aird ar na ceithre snáitheanna a fhorbairt ar bhonn córasach sna ranganna. Tá raon leathan áiseanna ar fail chun tacú le foghlaim na Gaeilge. Cloíonn gach oide leis an nGaeilge mar theanga theagaisc le linn na ceachtanna Gaeilge. Moltar anois an Ghaeilge a úsáid mar ghnáth-chumarsáid  sa rang mar a chleachtar sna hard- ranganna.  Múintear cnuasach breá rann agus filíochta ag gach leibhéal ranga agus aithrisítear iad seo le beocht agus taitneamh. Baintear feidhm as raon leathan de mhodhanna múinte chun an t-ábhar a chur abhaile ach moltar anois úsáid níos rialta a bhaint as obair bheirte chun forbairt chórasach a dhéanamh ar an bhfoclóir atá ag na daltaí.

 

Tá líofacht mhaith léitheoireachta bainte amach ag na daltaí sa scoil. Déanann na daltaí plé ar brí na bhfocal agus baineann siad feidhm as straitéisí tabhairt faoi fhocail chun scileanna léitheoireachta a dhaingniú.  Bunaítear an léitheoireacht ar ábhar téacsleabhair agus moltar anois úsáid a bhaint as leabhair mhóra agus úrscéalta chun caighdeán na léitheoireachta a ardú a thuilleadh. Moltar freisin timpeallacht níos saibhre sa phrionta a chothú i ngach rangsheomra.

 

Tugtar deiseanna fiúntacha do na daltaí tabhairt faoi chineálacha difriúla cleachtaí scríbhneoireachta sa Ghaeilge bunaithe ar ábhar na cainte agus na léitheoireachta tríd an scoil. Baineann na daltaí caighdeán an-ard amach i gcruinneas, saibhreas teanga agus i líofacht sna cleachtaí scríofa ar an iomlán.. Is inmholta mar a dhírítear aird ar chruinneas gramadaí go mór mhór sna hardranganna. Is féidir leis na daltaí nuacht shimplí , scéalta beaga, tuairiscí gearra a scríobh agus is spéisiúil na haistí gearra a scríobhann na daltaí sna hardranganna..

 

 Irish

The school plan has a positive influence on individual planning in this school and in general the pupils achieve a high standard in Irish. Clear learning outcomes are outlined in short-term planning which develop pupils’ achievement across a range of skills. Attention is focused on the systematic development of the four strands in the classes A wide range of resources is available to support learning in Irish. Each teacher utilises Irish as the teaching language during Irish lessons. It is now recommended that Irish be used as the communicative method of the classroom as is practised in the senior classes. A variety of poems and rhymes are taught at teach class level and these are recited with enjoyment and spirit. A wide range of teaching methodologies is utilised to develop the content of the lessons but it is now recommended that the use of paired work be further developed to enable the systematic development of the pupils’ vocabulary .

 

The pupils have achieved good fluency in reading in the school. The pupils discuss the meanings of words and they utilise work attack strategies to consolidate their reading skills. Reading is based on the subject of the textbook and it is now recommended that greater used be made of large format books and novels to further raise the standard of reading. It is also recommended that a richer print environment be created in each classroom

 

Ample opportunities are provided to the pupils to engage in a variety of writing exercises in Irish based on the topics of conversation, and the writing throughout the school. Overall the pupils’ attain a very good standard in accuracy, richness of language and fluency in the written activities. The attention focused on grammatical accuracy, especially in the senior classes, is commended. The pupils are able to write simple news, little stories and short reports and the essays that the pupils in the senior classes write are praiseworthy.

 

English

English is taught to very good effect in the school and the pupils are making very satisfactory progress in general. Oral language skills are well developed in all classes and all teachers plan for the delivery of discrete oral language lessons.  Listening and speaking skills are well developed in the infant and junior classes. Pupils in the middle and senior classes are provided with opportunities to expand their vocabulary, to develop a command of grammar and syntax and to explore and develop ideas and concepts through talk and directed discussion. The teachers are commended for the manner in which the pupils are facilitated to derive pleasure and benefit from their exposure to a rich and varied repertoire of poetry appropriate to their age and stage of development. In order to further enhance provision in the development of oral language skills it is now recommended that teachers employ paired and group work to a greater extent in learning activities across the curriculum areas. It is further recommended that the role of play and games in the infant and junior classes be developed to support collaborative talk and discussion and to provide cognitive challenge for the pupils.

 

Pupils’ achievement in reading is of a very acceptable standard. In the infant classes emergent reading skills are grounded in the pupils’ general language experience and oral language activities provide the basis for the pupil’s preparation for reading. Collaborative reading of large format books, a print rich environment and the development of pupils’ phonological and phonemic awareness all contribute to the development of the pupils’ literacy skills. Word identification strategies are well developed in the junior and middle classes and the pupils are in general proficient in recognising and identifying words. They display a very good ability to employ a range of strategies including grapho/phonic and syntactic cues to assist them to read. Pupils’ comprehension skills are well developed throughout the school but particularly in the senior classes, where the skills of analysis, inference, deduction, and summarisation are well developed using a variety of reading texts. It is recommended however that graded reading texts be utilised as part of the reading materials currently employed to enable teachers to address the variety of reading abilities presented by the pupils in each of the classes.

 

All pupils engage in a wide variety of writing activities and attractive displays of samples of pupils’ written work, depicting a range of writing genres, are organised in the majority of classrooms. The writing process is successfully developed throughout the school and in the senior classes pupils are facilitated to develop a personal style of writing and to use appropriate levels of formality in their presentations. While pupils’ work is well presented there is a need to further develop their handwriting skills. It is therefore recommended that a whole-school policy for the development of pupils’ handwriting skills be developed in the short term.

 

4.3 Mathematics

The teaching of Mathematics is very effectively undertaken throughout the school and the pupils have acquired a very good understanding of mathematical concepts and processes appropriate to their level of development and ability. All teachers present structured, well-paced lessons in which curriculum objectives are addressed and in which the pupils are actively engaged in the learning process. Teachers’ explanations and instructions are clear and build on pupils’ previous learning and real life experiences. Oral mathematical activities form an integral part of all lessons and the language of mathematics was systematically addressed in all lessons observed. Concrete materials are skilfully utilised to assist pupils’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Pupils are facilitated to construct and apply their mathematical understanding in contexts drawn from everyday life and from their immediate environment. In the senior classes pupils are provided with ample opportunities to engage in problem solving and their estimation skills are carefully developed. There is good evidence of linkage between the strand units and of integration between mathematics and other curriculum areas. Pupils’ written work is recorded neatly and accurately and is regularly monitored and evaluated. All teachers maintain records of individual pupil progress. At all class levels, pupils should however be provided with increased opportunities to use the language of mathematics and with appropriate challenges which will further develop their problem solving abilities. It is therefore recommended that the pupils be provided with regular opportunities to collaborate on tasks and to co-operate in their learning.

 

 

4.4 Social, Environmental and Scientific Education

 

History

A very good whole-school History plan effectively informs teacher planning for the delivery of a board, balanced and coherent history curriculum. Pupils are facilitated to acquire a very good understanding of local, Irish and international history through the study of a range of peoples, events and periods. The acquisition of a comprehensive body of historical knowledge by the pupils is commendably balanced by enabling them to also develop and practice historical investigation skills. In the infant and junior classes pupils’ historical work begins with the exploration of personal, family and local history. This effectively provides the pupils with the opportunity to develop awareness of the past and of its impact on lives of individuals known to them. In the middle and senior classes the study of local history is well developed and the pupils acquire and practice a range of historical research skills. The school is commended for its acquisition of a very broad range of historical artefacts and for its policy of issuing invitations to members of the wider school community to speak to the pupils about their memories of the past.  The teachers’ effective use of these resources develops in the pupils, a sense of empathy and understanding of how events in the past appeared to those living at the time. It is now recommended that increased attention be focused on the development of chronological awareness among the pupils and that timelines feature in all classrooms. This should facilitate the pupils to place episodes of history in context and to make connections between periods of history under study and those that precede and follow them. 

 

Geography

Very effective geography lessons enable the pupils to develop an understanding and appreciation of the world in which they live. Very good learning activities are organised which enable the pupils to explore and learn about features in the natural and human environments, especially those in the immediate locality. Pupils’ understanding and knowledge of environmental awareness and care is effectively developed through their engagement in the Green Flag project. This successfully enables them to become active agents in conservation and to develop a caring attitude and responsible behaviour towards the environment and the sustainable use of the Earth’s resources. The good practice of engaging pupils in fieldwork is commended. The use of maps, graphs, charts and atlases enables the pupils to obtain and present geographical information effectively and to acquire a sense of locational knowledge and spatial awareness. Increased emphasis should however be placed on the study of the interactions of people with each other and their environments. It is therefore recommended that the pupils be provided with an opportunity to engage to a greater extent in project work and intensive studies of the lives of peoples in other areas.

 

Science

Very good practice was observed in the teaching of Science at all class levels and the pupils display a very good understanding of  the knowledge, skills and concepts  outlined in each of the strand units. The pupils’ ideas, experiences and environment are effectively utilised as the starting point for science activities. Pupils are frequently provided with opportunities to engage in practical activities and simple experiments which effectively enhance their knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. All teachers employ a wide range of approaches in the teaching of Science. Their development of a scientific approach to investigations facilitates the pupils to engage in the observing, questioning and understanding of scientific phenomena. This good practice is praiseworthy. In order to further enhance pupil learning in Science it is now recommended that increased focus be placed on the skill of designing and making and to the application of the pupils’ scientific skills and knowledge to practical and open-ended tasks.

 

 

4.5 Arts Education

 

Visual Arts

The quality of learning and teaching in the Visual Arts is of a very high standard. All pupils are facilitated to make a personal response to visual art forms of different styles, periods and cultures. Classroom displays of pupils’ art work are attractively organised and they reflect a diversity of styles and interpretations. Displays of pupils’ art work for the local community are also organised. This validation of pupils’ work supports the development of their creativity and confidence and enables them to develop their own personal and individual forms of expression. Opportunities for linkage within the arts curriculum and for cross-curricular integration are well exploited. Teachers present well planned lessons which strike an appropriate balance between two and three-dimensional work and which provide the pupils with opportunities for making art and for looking and responding to art. The commendable utilisation of discovery learning approaches enables the pupils to explore the expressive possibilities of a variety of materials and tools and to place an emphasis on the process of making art. The majority of the teachers maintain comprehensive portfolios and digital recordings of the pupils’ work. The good practice of encouraging pupils to engage in self-evaluation exercises is highly praised. It is recommended however that pupils be awarded greater opportunities to engage in collaborative art work.

 

Music

Excellent lessons were observed in the teaching of Music and teachers’ individual planning indicates that pupils at all levels are exposed to each of the three strands of the Music curriculum. Pupils in all classes sing a range of songs sweetly. They are provided with opportunities to perform music, as individuals and groups, using a variety of musical instruments. Music literacy is systematically addressed at each class level enabling the pupils to gain an understanding of musical notation and sound patterns and a sense of rhythm and pitch. In the infant and junior classes pupils are facilitated to explore the expressive possibilities of a variety of sound sources and to listen to, enjoy and respond to a wide range of music. The listening and responding to music strand is further developed in the middle and senior classes where pupils are encouraged to demonstrate and describe differences in sounds and to apply their understanding of the musical elements to selected pieces of music.

 

Drama

The school is aware of the unique contribution of drama to pupils’ development and increased emphasis has been placed on its value in all classrooms this year. All teachers have negotiated a drama contract with the pupils. This provides the pupils with a safe and supportive environment in which to make drama. Dramatic techniques such as role-play, hot seating and mime are used effectively in Drama lessons and as a methodology to enhance teaching and learning in other curriculum areas. The elements of drama explored in lessons foster the pupils’ imaginative, intellectual and emotional development. It is evident that the pupils enjoy the drama experience and develop a high degree of self-confidence through their active engagement in the organised drama activities. The annual school concert is much appreciated by parents. It benefits pupils in fostering self-esteem and in giving them the opportunity to appear on stage and to express themselves publicly. It is now recommended that a wide range of props and materials be provided to enable the pupils to participate in make believe and role play specifically in the infant and junior classes. It is further recommended that pupils be provided with increased opportunities to reflect on drama thus enabling them to explore themes, characters and plots.   

 

4.6 Physical Education

The school successfully promotes enjoyment of and positive attitudes towards physical activity and its contribution to lifelong health-related fitness, thus preparing the child for the active and purposeful use of leisure time. In the lessons observed appropriate warm up and cool down activities are organised and due attention is placed on pupil safety. Very good activities were organised which allowed for the active engagement and participation of all pupils. Opportunities are provided for group work and the pupils were observed to work co-operatively and display a very good sense of fair play. Very good attention is paid to skills development and a comprehensive range of resources is effectively utilised during the lessons. The school play area, the local community centre, the green field area and playing pitches are all utilised to good effect in the delivery of the physical education programme. Parents are actively involved in the organisation of the annual school sports day. A wide range of extra-curricular activities is organised by the school and supported by parents. These activities provide boys and girls with further opportunities to participate in a range of sporting events. 

 

4.7 Social, Personal and Health Education

The Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme delivered in the school fosters the personal development, health and well-being of the individual pupil. Lessons observed assist the pupils to create and maintain positive relationships and to develop a framework of values, attitudes and skills which inform their decision making and actions. Care is taken to ensure that pupils develop a sense of safety and an ability to protect themselves from danger and abuse through the effective delivery of the planned Stay Safe and Relationships and Sexuality Education programme (RSE).A supportive school climate enhances the provision made by individual teachers in discrete SPHE lessons. Many aspects of the SPHE programme are effectively developed in other curriculum areas. The effective integration of media education with the English curriculum in the middle and senior levels is praiseworthy. It is recommended however that increased emphasis be placed on the strand unit developing citizenship in order to extend pupils understanding of cultural and human diversity in the world and to provide them with opportunities to compare and contrast their own traditions and culture with other ethnic and cultural groups in society.

 

4.8 Assessment

A good whole-school assessment policy effectively informs teacher practice in assessing pupil progress. Standardised tests in literacy and numeracy are administered annually. The results of these tests, coupled with other relevant data, assists in the identification of pupils in need of support. A comprehensive range of diagnostic tests is administered by the learning support teacher. The results of these tests inform the learning programmes designed for individual pupils. Good lesson consolidation, regular monitoring and evaluation of pupils’ written work, teacher designed tests and tasks and criterion referenced tests are among the methods utilised by teachers to assess pupil learning across the curriculum areas. The majority of teachers maintain good records of pupils’ learning strengths and areas for development and some teachers maintain portfolios of pupil work. Information regarding pupil progress is shared with parents at the annual parent-teacher meeting and through the issuing of end of year pupil progress reports. While there are significant strengths in the assessment of pupil learning, the school and pupils would benefit from the placing of an increased emphasis on the assessment for learning. It is therefore recommended that consideration be given to methods of undertaking formative assessment, using assessment data to inform teaching and learning and to the possibility of involving the pupils in self-evaluation.  

 

 

5.     Quality of support for pupils

 

5.1 Pupils with special educational needs

The quality of support for pupils with special educational needs is very good. A full time learning support teacher, who recently assumed responsibility for this position, provides support to pupils with identified learning difficulties. Using the assessment data available to her and following extensive consultation with the class teachers the teacher has successfully outlined very good learning programmes to address the identified learning difficulties of the pupils. It is understood that it is the intention to communicate these programmes to parents in the short term and that, following consultation between the parents and the learning support teacher, strategies to enable the parents to support their children’s learning will be outlined in compliance with the schools’ learning support policy. A wide range of active learning methodologies was utilised by the teacher in the lessons observed. The teacher displays a very clear understanding of the variety of pupils’ preferred learning styles and learning priorities. The pupils present as happy and interested in their work and they engage enthusiastically in the activities organised. The teacher maintains daily notes of pupils’ progress and has developed a system for the recording of pupil progress in relation to prioritised learning targets. Support is provided to the pupils in the areas of literacy and numeracy primarily on a withdrawal basis. It is now recommended that consideration be given to appropriate classroom-based interventions thereby enabling the maximum number of pupils to benefit from support in literacy and numeracy. It is further recommended that the provision of additional resources to the support setting, to include high interest and graded reading materials and computer software, be prioritised by the board of management.   

 

5.2 Other supports for pupils: disadvantaged, minority and other groups

The principles of inclusiveness, equality of access and participation are effectively promoted in the school. The board is sensitive to isolated instances of disadvantage among the pupils and it provides resources to ensure that all pupils have access to the full range of school activities.

 

6.     Summary of findings and recommendations for further development

The following are the main strengths identified in the evaluation:

 

 

As a means of building on these strengths and to address areas for development, the following key recommendations are made:

 

 

Post-evaluation meetings were held with the staff and board of management where the draft findings and recommendations of the evaluation were presented and discussed.

 

 

 

 

Published April 2009

 

 

 

 

Appendix

 

School Response to the Report

 

Submitted by the Board of Management

 

 

 

 

Area 1   Observations on the content of the inspection report     

 

 

 

Area 2   Follow-up actions planned or undertaken since the completion of the inspection

               activity to implement the findings and recommendations of the inspection

 

 

·         The Board wishes to state that since the implementation of the new curriculum we have had various graded reading schemes in use in the school.

·         Following the recommendations of the WSE report and to further enhance the children’s learning we have now purchased additional graded reading schemes with monies raised by the Parents Association.

·         The Board has studied all the findings and is acting on the recommendations in the report.